Newly crowned King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium stepped out in front of their subjects for the first time as Belgium’s monarchs. Philippe and Mathilde were joined by their four children, Elisabeth, Gabriel, Emmanuel and Eléonore, to mark the historic occasion.
Mathilde sported the same cream dress and elegant hat she wore to the morning’s church service while her children were dressed in matching outfits. Elisabeth, who is now first in line to the Belgian throne, and Eléonore wore cute red dresses and scarlet hair accesories and their brothers, Gabriel and Emmanuel looked equally as smart in navy blue suits.
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Before appearing on the palace balcony Philippe was officially made King of the Belgians, following his father’s official abdication at the royal residence.
“In Philippe and Mathilde I place my trust,” said Albert as he signed his act of abdication.
“Philippe you possess a great heart and intelligence to serve our country,” added Albert, who also thanked his wife Paola for her years of support and embraced his son a warm hug.
During his speech Albert also have his thanks to the numerous statesmen he has worked with during his 20 year reign, including the Belgian Prime Minister, Elio di Rupo.
Earlier in the day Albert attended his last last ‘Te Deum’ ceremony as the country’s monarch Albert II, who announced his abdication in July, undertook his last engagement as the country’s king on Sunday morning.
Albert looked visibly excited as he saw signs of thanks being held by supporters and was welcomed into the Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula with a round of applause.
Queen Paola, wiped a tear from her eye as she sat next to her husband for the ceremony of praise takes place annually on Belgium’s national day, the day significantly been chosen for Philippe to ascend the throne.